Good­bye lo­cal store - hello new tea­room!

Pres­sure from su­per­mar­kets leads to re­vamp of newsagents

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Yoortelegraph - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

When even your friends won’t buy from you then you know your busi­ness has to change. That was the sit­u­a­tion fac­ing Wer­ring­tonVil­lageNew­sown­ers Marie Tweedie and David Mitchell­when­they­stockedup on al­co­hol to cel­e­brate buy­ing the shop, only to dis­cover thattheir­friendswoul­drather spend their money at a ma­jor su­per­mar­ket.

But, rather than sulk­ing and­down­ingth­eir­sor­row­son the large amount of re­main­ing booze, the cou­ple have de­cided to give up on sell­ing gro­ceries and con­vert the newsagents into a retro tea­room.

The de­ci­sion, which was prompted by slow gro­cery sales, has caused a huge stir on Face­book with many vil­lagers wel­com­ing the of­fer of aplace­to­haveacup­paand pick up a news­pa­per.

Marie (52) said: “We got in lots of al­co­hol when we first moved here in Oc­to­ber 2015. We­havelot­sof­friendswhoare all drinkers but they did not come­here. They­went­toMor­risons or Tesco!”

She added: “We are sit­ting here think­ing, ‘this is pretty rub­bish’. Peo­ple go to su­per­mar­kets for gro­ceries.

“You can be here 10 min­utes and no one will come in. And when they do they say they are go­ing to go and do a shopelse­where. The­yarevery open about it. Over the years the su­per­mar­kets have taken half the trade away. It’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion and even I en­joy go­ing to a su­per­mar­ket and get­ting ev­ery­thing in one place. But, if some­one is lo­cal they should sup­port their lo­cal­shop­be­causethey­willmiss it if it’s gone.”

Marie and David (51) are plan­ning to un­veil their new tea­room at the start of March.

The en­gaged cou­ple, who live in the­same­buildin­gas­the newsagents in Church Street, hope to fol­low on from their suc­cess last sum­mer when they put up ta­bles out­side and peo­ple stopped to have a drink.

The new tea­room will play mu­sic Marie likes from the 1940s to the 1960s. In fact, she likes that era so muchthat­she is al­ready sell­ing clothes from the 40s and 50s at the store, and that is set to con­tinue once the re­vamp is com­plete – it will also sell to­bacco and news­pa­pers.

Marie said: “There will be mu­sic­playin­gandwewil­l­have four to five ta­bles. We’re go­ing to get cake and sand­wich dis­plays and put new floor­ing in.

“It’s a lovely place Wer­ring­ton vil­lage and we will make it a lovely at­mos­phere. Ev­ery­thing we have will be home­made. There will be cakes and sand­wiches and af­ter­noon tea.

“Peo­plewil­lorder­i­tandwe will bring it over.”

The an­nounce­ment on Face­book telling cus­tomers about the change of plans was shared by over 200 peo­ple and re­ceived nearly 100 com­ments, al­most all of which were hugely pos­i­tive. Marie added:“We’revery­op­ti­mistic. Fromthere­spons­eswe­knowa lot of­peo­ple­can’twait­to­come in and see what we’ve got.”

Marie sell­ing 1950’s cloth­ing

Marie and David at the shop

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